Sep 20, 2017 02:17PM ravzari wrote:
It's nice to have a loose, front buttoning shirt with drain pockets on the inside after surgery. If no drain pockets, still a loose, front buttoning shirt that you can pin the drains to so they're not just swinging around loose, which hurts.
Compression (front closing, of course) tends to help with pain and swelling as well, though not all doctors mention that to their patients. A front closing sports bra is good enough if medical compression garments aren't available.
Having loose--but not so loose they fall off--comfortable pants that you can pull up and down without having to wiggle or mess with buttons or zippers is also nice to have for the first few weeks post-op. PJ pants, sweats, stuff like that.
It's also helpful to have comfortable shoes that you can slip on and off without having to bend down to do it, especially for the first couple weeks when you probably have drains in and don't want to jostle them (because that kind of hurts).
Anything that has to be pulled over the head is generally avoided for 6-8 weeks as you're not able to fully lift your arms over your head, though I was able to bend over at the waist and wiggle in and out of tank tops and loose fitting t-shirts by week 3.
I found compression on top to be more comfortable for about 8 weeks and around 6 weeks I switched from a medical compression vest to either just a Spanx (or other brand) compression tank or a front closing sports bra. After that, I still sometimes wear the tank tops if it's hot outside, but got rid of the bra.
For women who develop mild lymphedema in their chest, wearing a compression tank or compression t-shirt can help with it. For MOST women that clears up after a few months, but for some it's permanent, especially if they had nodes in their armpits removed.
As for other clothes, honestly, for me there's nothing 'special'.
I wear a lot of yoga pants, tank tops, and t-shirts, and don't care if anyone notices or sees that I'm flat because it's just plain not their business, so I've never cared to try to 'mask' the fact that I'm flat with scarves, loose tops, patterns, etc...but some women prefer to do that.
Most people just assume you have small breasts anyway, from my experience, even if you're flat as a board.
I don't wear bras or inserts as I just plain don't want to but I'm sure others will have better input on that, and I wear whatever I feel like wearing which is whatever clothing I had prior to my mastectomy; being flat doesn't bother me, and I find the idea of wearing a bra if I don't absolutely have to to be incredibly off putting. I'm glad I don't have to as I always found even well fitted bras to be kind of uncomfortable and would never consider wearing one again.
When I go swimming, I usually just go topless and wear swimming trunks or shorts as there's nothing there to see on top anymore anyway so no good reason to have to cover it; if it's at a private pool or a public beach and not just around family/friends, I'll wear a one piece or short shorts and a tank top because it's not worth arguing with the general public about not really having a need to wear a top but, again, I don't care if anyone notices that I'm flat, so no swimming poofies for me.